Ethical tourism: a trend to keep an eye on in 2022

Ethical tourism: a trend to keep an eye on in 2022

RX Global, organizer of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), revealed that 2022 could witness a resurgence in brand-conscious travelers following commentary it received from delegates attending its 2021 in-person and virtual seminars on responsible tourism.

“The feedback we received has enabled us to identify a particular profile of traveler that now actively looks for ethical brands to follow and wants to see tangible evidence of that brand practicing what it claims to be.

“This potential vertical shows a combination of characteristics attributed to outdoor adventurers, wellness, eco-tourists, digital nomads on ‘workcations,’ experiential tourists and socially aware travelers,” said Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME of Arabian Travel Market.

“Naturally, we will be showcasing this emerging trend during our 2022 hybrid event, which takes place live and in-person at the Dubai World Trade Centre on 8-11 May 2022, with a virtual edition on 17 and 18 May 2022.”

During aviation seminars at ATM 2021, experts felt that short-haul leisure breaks, favoring low-cost operators, would be the first to recover in the wake of the pandemic. Although that may still seem to be the case, this emerging market segment certainly won’t be confined to one location, will likely choose longer haul destinations and stay over a longer time frame, interspersed with periods of work.

“The bottom line here is very similar, though. These tourists will still want to see brands committed to health and safety and tangible evidence of a sustainable strategy such as certification with an independent organization,” said Curtis.

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To underscore that demand, according to market data on Statista, 81 percent of 29,349 adults surveyed earlier this year across 30 countries confirmed that they would like to stay in a sustainable resort at least once in the 12 months ahead. Five years ago, only 62 percent of respondents made the same claim.

Indeed, Google found that the search term “green hotel” had increased fourfold over the past 18 months in terms of volume. So, to help eco-tourists, Google will now accredit hotels with a green eco-emblem next to their name during a routine search. It will also add details of the property’s specific sustainability policy and procedures and activities. To qualify, hotels must have their achievements audited by a credible third party.

“This will provide more transparency for potential guests and help to reward hotels with genuine environmental achievements,” said Curtis.

Now in its 29th year and working in collaboration with the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the show highlights in 2022 will include, among others, destination summits focused on the key source markets of Saudi, Russia, China and India.

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